The word “unhinged” and its twin “deranged” have become very popular online, especially on Twitter. I initially understood them to be a form of self-deprecation: what I’m doing makes no sense because I’m not smart, I’m not acting rationally because I have problems, etc. With exposure, and after doing several things myself that felt pretty unhinged, I started to understand that those words are more social tools than literal descriptors.
Interpreted positively, those words mark the entrance to an alternate reality where the rules of logic no longer apply. In that world, it’s safe to play like a child, to try things because they seem fun, or to do things for no reason at all. When I say that what I’m doing is unhinged, I mean that it’s magical, playful, wonderful.
There is, of course, a negative interpretation: that the user fears and wishes to avoid judgment. When I call my actions unhinged, I preempt shame by shaming myself first. You can’t call me crazy; I already did that. Unfortunately, in doing this, the user only reinforces their submission to restrictive social norms. They voluntarily serve as their own judge, jury, and jailer.
If “unhinged” actions have a purpose, it is to stretch the boundaries of permissible behavior, in search of hidden gold. The application of that word to your actions suggests that your most immediate boundaries are self-imposed.